Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The kids right before him were just leaving as he runs up the sidewalk screaming "TRICK O' TREAAAATT!!!". He must have been about four years old. He stops not right at the door, but in the foyer of the house. "CAN I PICK????".

At first, we couldn't hear what he was saying through all his excitement. "CAN I PICK???" he repeats.

"Oh! You want to pick your own candy! .. Sure!".

So he rummages through the big box of candy that we had, and took a couple. His mom was steps behind, and told him that he cannot pick through the candy like that. He must take whatever is given to him. But this boy wouldn't have that.

Karen, Lisa and I laughed at the whole scene. We remember him from last year. Last time, he ran into the house... ran around the livingroom... screaming, "WHERE'S THE DOGGIE???". (He knew there was a dog in the house). All the while, his parents were trying to chase him out of the house.

Kids. So cute.

Love it when people have spirit. (No pun intended). 

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Somedays All You Need Is Instant Noodles

Was still battling exhaustion from the crazy week at work and a party to end it all along with waking up relatively early the next day to make it to doggie trick o' treating. By night, I was ready to pass out on the couch. With every inch of my body not wanting to move.

Family had had a late lunch so they hadn't prepared dinner. I was fine with that... I wasn't hungry. I just wanted to sleep. After a nap though, I woke up super groggy and still sleepy... and on top of that, now hungry. I think I should at least make myself an instant noodle, I thought to myself. But lying there still, I didn't want to move. I was however able to muster a bit of energy to pull the laptop over and continue my whining of being tired and hungry over msn. All the while, in my head I kept thinking, I could really use that instant noodle.

Just as I was about to get up and make one, Ming messages and says, "Come over. I'll make it for you." (Well, I could be completely honest and say it wasn't exactly offered in such a nice way, but then he says I make fun of him too much on my blog so...).

It is quite awesome that he lives so close.

This is from a package and a half of Mee Goreng. It has no soup because it's the dry, saucy kind. Along with the noodles, there was also veggies and chicken (too healthy to be photographed). And I have to say, it was yummy. MSG and all. Think it tastes better when you're tired and you don't have to cook it yourself. Perfect for a lazy night. Somedays, all you need is instant noodles to keep you happy. Thanks for making it!

Of course, he wouldn't leave me too content. After dinner, even though he knows I'm not one who loves horror movies, we still had to watch "28 Weeks Later". It wasn't any better with him commenting on the side before every gory zombie scene, "Oh, this part is gross. You gotta watch it."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shoppin' For Christmas

I wish I was that on top of it but no, the Christmas shopping for family and friends will probably start a little later. Today, it was shopping for a new board game for our annual Christmas party for family and friends. We have exhausted the Cranium board game and all its special editions in the past few years. This year, it will be something new. Can't believe how many there are to choose from.

Our only criteria : must induce a whole lot of laughs!

Doggie Trick O' Treatin'

**Warning** Cuteness overload.

Every year, Three Dogs Bakery donates a whack load of healthy dog treats to nearby stores, and they hold a doggie trick o' treating event for all dogs. Just like last year, I went along with my cousins and their dog, Cocoa (the chow). And yah, I know I've said in the past that I think it's wrong to dress up animals ... but wait until you go to an event like this and see how super darn cute they are.

Look at my backseat buddy in the car. Ain't she cute?

We reached W. 10th and joined the rest of the doggies on the street. Cocoa quickly got into her pumpkin costume (which attracted soooo many admirers).

Okay, I had to laugh here. Owners making their dogs pose infront of the stacks of pumpkins. And yah... the looks on some of these dog's faces shed pure torture. But, hopefully at least cute photo came out of their expense.

"Can I have my treats now?".

She wouldn't stay still.

Waiting at the door, "trick o' treat!".

This guy was one my favorites. Dressed in a frog costume and looking mighty miserable. 

There's always time to stop for a little warming up.

No,  that boston terrier doesn't have a lump on his head... that's his panda costume.

Owner drew on zebra stripes! With Crayola, so don't worry... totally washable.

Look who else showed up... Barney! Bzzz Bzzz... as a bumble bee. With that cute face, I'd give him extra treats.

That pony of a dog dragged his owner around. On the right, a passerby giving the bulldog a bum scratch. Apparently, that's the soft spot for all bulldogs. I think, for all dogs in general.

At the end of it all, you get to go to back to Three Dogs Bakery for a prize. Yes, all dogs get a prize. Cocoa ended up with an entire bag of dog food. And Barney got this squeaky Christmas tree toy. So cute! 

The pompoms on his hood coming out of his head makes him crazy adorable. Tooooo cute! Little did you know, while I quickly snapped this photo of him, he was busy growling and barking at nothing and everything... which triggered a whole train of dogs on the block barking with him. Oh, the little terror ... but, still one of the cutest.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Party

After an awfully busy day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was go to a party. A hot cup of cocoa while curled up underneath a blanket seemed more right. But, blame it on the adrenaline that was still pumping in me (from the craziness I call work), I quickly dropped by Kat's after work, and borrowed a costume. Next, rushed home and changed, then left again to pick up something for the potluck. I was home with not many minutes to spare before a Andy came and picked me up. Then, off we went on what seemed to me like a long drive out to Coquitlam.

But, I made it. And... I'm glad I did.

It was lovely seeing old and new coworkers getting together for something other than work. We took our manditory group picture, gobbled down yummy food, and shared stories about our recent happenings. Then... the unthinkable happened, and the karaoke machine came out. (Those Filipinos do have quite the karaoke system!). Everyone took a turn with the mic... and I was so sure I was just going to watch. (I only do the singing infront of my usual karaoke friends!). But, leave it to all the peer pressuring, or just my fatigue starting to set in and not being able to muster up any more energy to put up a fight, I sang "How Do I Live" by Trisha Yearwood. There. Done. No more. Next up, charades. Hard clues to act out, but we had some pretty clever actors... so it was one good game!

By midnight, my eyes were heavy and my entire body was screaming "please put me to bed!".

But, I had fun. It was a great way to melt away all the stress and tension from the day. No matter how tired I was, or what anti-party mood I was in, I wouldn't have done it any other way.

Thanks Connie, for hosting! Thanks guys, for a super Happy Halloween night!

And, Happy Birthday, Anita!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why I Love Fall

This was on my way to work. I stopped the car in the middle of the road, stuck my camera out the window... and clicked.

Message Received

Dad is learning how to text with his cell phone. This morning, before I went to work, I taught him "predictive texting". (He's still old school with his phone... no smart phones yet).

Today, while I was at work, I received a text from him.

"My girl, how is your day at work?".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Guess what? I got an invitation to Pinterest! (Ok, so you have to request for the invite... ).

Check out

I recently discovered this website called Pinterest. It allows to surf and collect things you find interesting from the web. You are given your own pin boards for you to "pin up" things you love. Upon joining Pinterest, I see a few facebook friends of mine have already started their own pin boards.

When I surf the web, I'm constantly looking for fun and cool things to share. Now, Pinterest has made it easier for me to rummage through other people's finds too. Fun stuff!

You can follow my pin boards here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Finally, A Break

I watched him so carefully pick off all those green onions / scallions off of his crispy mashed potatoes, and then moments later, put them all back on bit by bit. I was wondering what he was doing.

"Aren't you going to take a picture?".

I totally forgot. I always whip out my camera for this blog. He must have realized that I haven't done so yet, so he placed his green onions back on top. Watching him do that made me laugh inside.

After a busy week, I finally got a break. Saturday night, we went out to Joey's. Something different from our usual. What's also different from the usual was Ming wearing jeans instead of sweats.  Along with our meals, we had our drinks. Him - a long island ice tea, me - a red sangria. We chatted the night away. Relaxing night at last.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Let's Share - Edible Flours Bakery


**WARNING : Long post.

I had one super duper tough work week. This week will go down in my book of work week history as one of the busiest. I swear I was on autopilot mode the last three days. Just keep truckin' along, the week is almost over, I told myself. It would be past 1am and Ming would ask why I was still up. 

"I don't want work to come so soon again! I just got off work," I replied, completely dreading the chaos that I know will be waiting for me in the morning.

"Well, if you go to bed now, weekend will also come sooner."

I am like a child. That got me sleeping in no time. That was how malfunctioning I was.

Anyway, the week ended off not too shabby. I had clinic days, which meant leaving my chaos of a store, and travelling across town to sit in my own office space and chat with people one-on-one. This time it was on the topic of osteoporosis.

I know I've said it before... on the whole, I do love clinic days. It is a break from my everyday. Y'know, I see it as me being a teacher. An educator. Where I be a part of linking doctors and nurses to the public, and teaching people about their general health and medications. But until the day that the public and the government accepts that this is what we're valued to do, this is still only just a part-time gig for me.

But what you may not understand is, through these sessions, I get to learn a thing or two myself. I get to meet people from all walks of life. And quite often, (esp. with a topic like osteoporosis and my patients tend to be older), these are people with life experiences. And more often than you may guess, when given a good amount of time to chat, these people love to share.

Two particular stories stood out today.

This lady is in her 90's. ( You may be just as surprised as me how many 90 year old's I've met and are both strong and healthy). She was telling me that she will be celebrating her husband's 100th birthday next week. She shares that aside from Alzheimer's, he too is very healthy. She had written a card for him for their 60-something wedding anniversary. He had read it, and moments later, forgot what he's read. And she would let him read the card over and over again. This took a while, but after some repetition, he finally read it and got it. He took her hand and squeezed it. She said, that was when she knew he understood her card... and said "Happy Anniversary" back to her.

Another one is from a man in his 70's. When asked if he's broken any bones easily after the age of 40, (that was part of their assessment questionnaire), he laughed. Yes, indeed he did. He said he was drunk, as there weren't many moments that he wasn't... and he was on a bike and was hit by a car. He went flying and landed on cement, and broke his arm in many places. He shares his story of being an alcoholic for 48 years. "Those people on Main and Hastings? They're my buddies. I was one of them." But he has since been alcohol and smoke free for 8 years now.

I asked him, "How? How did you do it?".

He said, "You think you can't just snap out of  something like that, but that was how it happened. One day, I just woke up and realized, I have to clean myself up. You have to want it."

Because drinking was his full time job, he lost his wife and kids. Who have now become ex-wife and distanced kids. But, in the past couple of years, they have been inviting him over for Christmas dinner. He said, he feels sorry for those people still on Main and Hastings. They all too have family. But getting out of a rut isn't easy to do.

He then apologizes to me that he's taken up most of our time talking about himself, but he just can't help sharing his story because he is so proud of how far he's come.

"And you should be. Wow. Thanks for sharing your story."

After work, I decided to check out a bakery (as a "I deserve it" treat), and walked into Edible Flours Bakery on West Broadway. They are a natural vegan bakery. The moment I walked in, this rich smell of yummy banana bread wafted over. Love the smell of baked goods. Their kitchen is literally right at the door. And the aroma from their baked goods fills their little shop. I was clapping my hands with delight... in my head.

If you know me though, you would know that one of my most favoritest baked goods is the carrot cake/muffin. I love them. They bring me back to childhood when my mom used to bake them a lot when we were kids. So, of course I had to get their carrot raisin muffin. No picture here, I consumed it before I could reach for a camera. It was gooood.

I took home two cupcakes. One was a lemon base with raspberry icing. The other was a chocolate with peanut butter filling.  I tried really hard to love them, but I think they tasted too healthy for me. Even the peanut butter in the centre tasted very.. "natural". I know that is their whole idea behind their baked goods, but not my thing when it comes to cupcakes. My brother agreed. We don't dislike them... but we certainly won't be craving them anytime soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Travel Expo and The Home And Design Show

After an amazing brunch with Shum, we walked the few blocks down to the Vancouver Convention Center. Fall is certainly in the air. It wasn't just cool, it was chilly. I had my thin winter coat and a scarf, and I was still shivering. Shum mentioned each Starbucks as we passed by them.

"Hey Ames! Look, a Starbucks!".

"Hey Ames... here's another Starbucks."

"Ames... this is the third Starbucks. Do you think we should go in?".

We were going to the Convention Center for the Travel Expo and we were meeting up with Ming. I thought, you know... because I'm the super nice person that I am... that we should perhaps wait for Ming before we went for coffee. Shum, being the even more nice person that she is... obliged.

Waiting inside of the Convention Center.

Low and behold, Ming walked through those doors with a cup of Timmy's in his hand. That bugger had coffee without us! Because he was cold, he said. And then the ragging began. "You got coffee without us??". "You didn't even think to get us one too??". "Did we not text you to tell you we were cold??". Well, for the record, we now know who's thoughtful and who's not.

We went to the Travel Expo first. Was hoping to find some good travel deals. But, we were too lazy to talk up the reps to see what there may be. There seemed to be a whole lot of people booking their next destination. For us, not so lucky.

Next stop : The Home and Design Show.  It had over a hundred booths, which took us a while to walk through. Most booths showcased items that could also be found at the marketplace in PNE. In fact, it is pretty much that plus a few more home decor and home renovation booths. It was interesting to scope out, but nothing to buy. Kat had warned me about them jacking up the price for the Zoku so I could only wonder what else is overpriced at these shows.

Shum found a sofa that she liked. And Ming and I gawked at a wine room. But that was it. Just browsin'. I was happy with the free parchment paper though. I can always use it.

After the show, we walked over to a Cafe Artigiano. I guess Ming tried to redeem himself and ordered all our drinks. Here is my chai latte... mmm mmm mmm. We sat outside sippin' our warm drinks with the cool breeze hitting our faces. Poor Shum... a sketchy, creepy lady came up to her and asked for money. Then, asked for her drink too. Well, she did her good deed for the day. 

What a wonderful Fall afternoon. The best part? The people you spend it with. (Even if one of them forget about your coffee. Shum teased and made fun of him all afternoon. I guess we're now even).

Yew Brunch

I must apologize beforehand. Photos in this post may make you drool. 

Shummie bought a Groupon for brunch at the Yew. I've never heard of this place until people started buying their Groupon, and the rumour had it that they are pretty great. So, on a beautiful, sunny Fall Sunday, Shum and I decided to check it out.

It is located in downtown, I believe as part of the Four Seasons Hotel.

Beautiful decor. Big, bright windows.

To start, they gave us complimentary sugar donuts that came with a pear and lime(?) sauce. The only other place that I had complimentary donuts before our meal was at Glowbal. I'd have to say... Yew wins with their donuts. Super soft. Dunked in cinnamon sugar. And the sauce was yummy.

Shortly after, we got our appetizers. Yes, this is a three-course brunch.

My crab tacos.

Shum's lobster roll with passionfruit glaze

I really enjoyed my tacos, and shum her rolls. But my "appetizer" was so big, I was pretty full already. Yikes. Our waiter had warned us to pick lighter appies and entrees because most people get too full to even enjoy their desserts. Anyway, here are our mains...
My omelette with white cheddar, herbs and truffle 

Shum's benedict with dungeness crab cakes on the bottom

We split everything in half and shared. I loved both. What is there not to love?? I love eggs. Love eggs. In fact, it's something that I always have to eat when I'm on vacation. (I'm crazy like that). It's my comfort food. So, eggs plus truffle, what is there not to like! Shum's benedict... instead of a biscuit or bread at the bottom, there was a crispy crab cake. Again, so yum! All of it was super filling though.
My cobbler with warm okanagan fruits and rhubarb
Shum's bombolini. Italian beignets with strawberries and vanilla cream

Even though we were both full, we still enjoyed our desserts very much. My cobbler made me delightfully warm, and on a nice Fall day, it made me cozy inside. Shum's bombolini gives you an experience of a wonderful burst of flavours in your mouth once you bite down. Honestly, I would go back to Yew just to have these desserts again. 

The funny thing was, Shum was not pleased with their service when we tried to make reservations. Nobody picked up their phone when she tried calling several times, and finally, when she decided to leave a message, she never got a call back. In the end, on a different day, she did eventually get through and got the response that they were too busy or too full to take reservations. We decided to take our chances and just show up that day anyway, and noticed the restaurant was not even half full. I know. Typical of these restaurants. They want to accomodate walk-ins too so hence no reservations at busy times. I get it.

While we were enjoying our brunch though, Shum gets a call on her phone. I could hear her say, "Uhh... I'm sitting in your restaurant right now. Yes, I'm in your restaurant RIGHT now. Yup... yup... it's okay... uh huh. Bubbye." They decided to respond to her message days later. 

So, throughout our brunch... I don't know if they figured out who we were, but I swear there was at least three or four different people (who looks like they are part of management, and not a waiter ) who came up to us to ask us how we were doing. They didn't ask the people sitting next to us... on either side. It may or may not have anything to do with the phone call... but it was a little odd. 

Regardless, it was a super enjoyable brunch.

And all for less than $15 each! Thanks to Groupon.